Valentine's day

Typically, I visit Pearl in the dining room. However, this time since she just woke up when I went to visit, I went to visit her in her room. I’ve been there only once or twice, but very briefly. This time, as I entered the room, I was able to look around more. It was surprising--in the best way--to see how loved she is. There were dozens of photos along her bookcase of her and her family and friends: the pictures with her in them ranged from her in her late 40s to now. Meanwhile, the arts and crafts her grandchildren made for her were very sweet.

I talked to Pearl on a lot of different subjects, and the most common adjective was “beautiful.” It was amazing how upbeat she is. Near her bedside, there was a Valentine’s Day card her family had sent her in which we looked at it together. I read aloud the words on it to her. For me, I often read these cards sent from friends or family and throw them to the side, but Pearl examined the card very diligently--it was clear that it meant a lot to her (picture attached below). She also kept repeating that the card was for Mother’s Day, and I just went along with it--regardless of what holiday the card was for, Pearl evidently appreciated it.

Later, I showed Pearl pictures of my family and friends, which I think she enjoyed. Yesterday, I went to Boston and saw someone playing electric violin music on the streets, and I took a video of the cool performance. So, I showed it to Pearl on my phone. She was enamored by it and played it repeatedly. It was awesome to describe my experience to her, and see her face light up.

As I turned to leave, Pearl gripped my hand tightly, thanking me for visiting her. Of course, it is always a pleasure to spend time with her! I think what struck me most about this visit was seeing her in her bed, so frail yet so positive. For me, this visit was a slightly sad but a lovely visit at the same time.

Ellen Zhang